Management Team

Founded in 2009, ViZn Energy is comprised of a dedicated and passionate team of scientists, engineers and business leaders that are revolutionizing energy storage.

John M. Lowell - President and CEO

John has responsibility for both the product configuration and manufacturing functions at ViZn Energy. John was previously General Manager with P&L responsibility for all operations and engineering functions in North America for the Healthcare market segment inside Celestica. John came to Celestica when Celestica purchased AlliedPanels, where John was president of the US based subsidiary, and he led the integration of AlliedPanels into Celestica. Prior to joining Celestica, John was VP of world-wide operations for SonoSite, a diagnostic ultrasound company, where he had responsibility of all operations functions in 10 subsidiaries located world-wide. John grew SonoSite from ~$85M revenue in ’04 to over $240M by ’09. John has held other operations and engineering management/executive positions in Tektronix, Philips, and Esterline Technologies. John has a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Montana State University, and has over 25 yrs experience in putting new products in the market in medical device, industrial, test and measurement, and computer peripheral industries.

Stu Sorensen – CFO and VP Administration

Stu has over 30 years of Finance and Accounting leadership experience for both hardware and software technology organizations, with strong domain knowledge in venture-funded and international operations. Sorensen served as CFO on Luminary Micro’s founding executive team where he helped lead this semiconductor startup firm from concept to acquisition by Texas Instruments, and more recently as CFO for Nuventix (sold to Aavid Thermalloy). He has also held senior financial positions at Texas Instruments and Motorola Semiconductor (now Freescale), as well as executive Finance roles for three other technology startups.

Mike Grunow - SVP Global Marketing and Sales

With more than 15 years of experience, Mike Grunow has a strong record of commercial leadership within rapidly expanding businesses focused on deploying unique and differentiated clean energy technologies. Previously, as Vice President of Marketing for Moventas, he worked with the world’s largest utilities to enhance the profitability of their existing wind energy fleets. Grunow previously served in executive marketing and sales leadership roles for Trina Solar, helping them grow into the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer. Prior to Trina Solar, he served as a product line manager for General Electric’s wind energy business which grew 10X during his tenure. Grunow graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and received his MBA in Finance from Columbia University.

Paul Siblerud - VP of Product Management

Paul joined ViZn after having worked at Semitool Inc. for 20 years in engineering, product management and marketing specializing in capital equipment for interconnect electroplating and advanced Wafer Level Packaging. As VP of Marketing and Electroplating he managed a division of more than $100M. In 2009, Applied Materials acquired Semitool and Siblerud assumed the position of CMO for the new division through 2012. During his tenure in semiconductor equipment industry, Siblerud started and managed two international consortiums promoting the technology of 3-D interconnect using Thru-Silicon-Via (TSV) and electroplated flip chip. Prior to his semiconductor career, Siblerud worked at Biola University in LaMirada California as a system manager. He studied Electrical Engineering and Bio-Medical Engineering at Pacific Lutheran University.

Kevin Waldher - VP of Finance and Investor Relations

Kevin has 26 years of creative financial structuring experience for acquisitions, development and resale of various types of businesses, commercial and residential real estate projects. He has owned, financed and resold over 350 different projects for his own account. His other past companies specialized in hard to place financing for business and real estate purchase and resale. Kevin has a BA in Finance from University of Idaho.

Steve Peace, P.E. - VP Engineering

Steve has over 25 years of product and technology development design and management experience in a broad range of industries including consumer products, computer peripherals, semiconductor equipment, aerospace and renewables.  He has over 30 patents and is responsible for managing all product development at ViZn.  Prior to ViZn, Steve owned an engineering consulting business providing design and project management services to companies such as Lockheed Martin, Lam Research, Applied Materials and GE.  He also held progressive engineering positions at Applied Materials, HP, and Teledyne Water Pik.  Steve received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University and is a licensed professional engineer.

Daniel Baublis, P.E. - VP Global Project Delivery

With more than 30 years developing and delivering power projects around the globe, Mr. Baublis’ experience spans the spectrum of power projects. As Senior Vice President of CH2M Hill’s International Power Group, he managed a global team of more than 100 professionals providing engineering, consulting, and construction services to the global power market. As SVP of Engineering & Construction for InterGen, he was responsible for bringing more than 7,500 MW of coal and gas-fired power plants through development to realization in 8 countries. Dan has negotiated and executed EPC contracts from both the owner’s and contractor’s sides and participated in multi-billion dollar transactions including billion dollar plus loan guarantees from US EXIM and OPIC. As Managing Director for Riverstone Intellectual Capital, Dan supported investments in energy storage, biofuels, electric transportation and real estate , focusing on both the underlying technology and the real-world application and project delivery.

A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (BS Mechanical Engineering) and Drexel University (MS Engineering Management).

Board of Directors

Kevin Waldher

Kevin has 26 years of creative financial structuring experience for acquisitions, development and resale of various types of businesses, commercial and residential real estate projects. He has owned, financed and resold over 350 different projects for his own account. His other past companies specialized in hard to place financing for business and real estate purchase and resale. Kevin has a BA in Finance from University of Idaho.

Ron Van Dell

With more than 30 years of experience, Ron Van Dell has an exceptional track record of success and proven leadership skills in early-stage, turn-around and established businesses. His background covers a broad range of industries in semiconductors and electronics – power, communications, computing, industrial control, electrical distribution and clean tech.  Van Dell led ViZn Energy as CEO during the development years. He also led the development and launch of a ground-breaking microinverter solution for AC Solar Modules, reaching eight digits in sales, while raising four rounds of funding. Before SolarBridge, Van Dell served as President and CEO at Primarion (sold to Infineon), President and CEO at Legerity (spin off of Communication Division of AMD), General Manager for Dell Computer’s Dimension Line of Business ($6B in sales), and VP-GM of the Communication Products Business at Harris Semiconductor (now Intersil Corporation). He also held previous international management positions in the U.S. and in Europe at Groupe Schneider, Square D Company and General Electric.

John M. Lowell

John has responsibility for both the product configuration and manufacturing functions at ViZn Energy. John was previously General Manager with P&L responsibility for all operations and engineering functions in North America for the Healthcare market segment inside Celestica. John came to Celestica when Celestica purchased AlliedPanels, where John was president of the US based subsidiary, and he led the integration of AlliedPanels into Celestica. Prior to joining Celestica, John was VP of world-wide operations for SonoSite, a diagnostic ultrasound company, where he had responsibility of all operations functions in 10 subsidiaries located world-wide. John grew SonoSite from ~$85M revenue in ’04 to over $240M by ’09. John has held other operations and engineering management/executive positions in Tektronix, Philips, and Esterline Technologies. John has a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Montana State University, and has over 25 yrs experience in putting new products in the market in medical device, industrial, test and measurement, and computer peripheral industries.

Board of Advisors

The VIZN Board of Advisors is a group of technical and business professionals operating in the battery industry.  The Board of Advisors provides VIZN support in the area of research, strategic planning, and market development.  The Board of Advisors will convene once a quarter to discuss the recent developments of VIZN and provide input to future planning, product development, and business direction.

David Green - Former Global Marketing Officer, McDonald’s

Mr. Green is currently a business consultant and is serving on the board of Tuesday Morning Corporation (TUES). Mr. Green was Senior Vice President, Senior Marketing Officer – Global Marketing for McDonald’s Corporation when he retired in 2002. During Mr. Green’s 30-year tenure with McDonald’s Corporation, he directed and supervised all facets of marketing, advertising, marketing strategy, brand positioning and promotion and was ultimately responsible for the direction and overall supervision of McDonald’s marketing activities in the U.S. and around the world. Working closely with world-class advertising agencies and outstanding marketing professionals, he developed advertising and marketing programs, which positioned McDonald’s as the number one retail consumer brand in the world. As a result of his accomplishments, Mr. Green received numerous awards and commendations for advertising campaigns, product promotions, new product introductions and media strategies. He has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Association of National Advertisers, Anti-Defamation League – Chicago and the Aviation Profession Educational Center.

Jigar Shah - Former CEO, Sun Edison

Jigar works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues to implement profitable solutions to climate change. Most recently Shah served as the first CEO of the Carbon War Room, the global organization founded by Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to harness the power of entrepreneurship to unlock the potential of proven climate change solution technologies to be deployed at scale.

Jigar founded SunEdison in 2003; today the world’s leading solar services company. SunEdison, through Shah’s perseverance and vision, simplified solar as a service through the implementation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model. That model changed the status quo, allowing organizations to purchase solar energy services under long-term predictably priced contracts and avoid the significant capital costs of ownership and operation of solar energy systems. The SunEdison business model is a recognized catalyst that turned solar PV into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.
Prior to that, Shah managed mergers & acquisitions, corporate strategy, and sales efforts for BP Solar, specializing in national commercial accounts. He also worked as a contractor for the Department of Energy on alternative vehicles and fuel cell programs.

Shah holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and an MBA from The University of Maryland. Besides the Carbon War Room, he also sits on the boards of the SolarNexus, KMR Infrastructure, Prometheus Institute and Greenpeace USA.

Jim Risher - Managing Director, Lumina Group

Mr. Risher served as CEO of DGT Holdings (DGT DGTH) Corporation in Chicago from 2006 until 2009, where he holds a position on the board of directors. He also currently acts as managing director at Lumina Group, LLC, a North Carolina firm engaging in advising and investing in mid-tier companies. Mr. Risher is currently a member of the board of directors of SL Industries, a diversified electronics firm with global reach, as well as the advisory board of Current Capital LLC, a New York private equity and investing and management services firm operating in the middle market. He previously held leadership positions at Motorola Computer Systems, Wang Corporation and IBM after earning an M.A. and B.A. in Economics and Statistics at the University of Texas in Austin and Arlington.